Posts tagged ‘Canadian Art’

Saturday Night Blizzard!

Well maybe it “aint no” blizzard like the folks in NFLD whooped through in the past 24 hours but here in O’sville, outside, now, 6 p.m., it aint pretty.  And it IS ice Flipping cold!  that is why I’m tucked away in here, in the crib, with the fake fire going, fake fireplace on the TV, 2D logs burning bright, warm as toast, snug as a bug, nestled up next to a Henschke Cyril Henschke Cab slash Sauv slash Franc slash Mer mixarama.  The folks are pitching it as extra dry but I’m telling you right now its twice the sweet as I like them.  Ah well.  It IS a snow storm out there.  And those Australian Vins on a cold winter night are something to write home about.  I’d write home if I had one…

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And so!  It IS a blizzard, I’m in for the evening with the vin and a book.  Thought I’d re read the “CLASSIC HORROR STORY” by kooky Sinclair Ross:  The Painted Door.  Of course when I was sporting, many moons ago, we’d make that trip, a mile anyway…

Things have changed since then.  Now, as an old man, we don’t need to wade through classic Canadian horror stories as we have enough of them stowed in our own story telling departments: if it were a library, a mighty library it would be as some of us did!  I was reminded of that when I crossed paths with an old soldier today:  same age as me!  We laughed and cackled our way through stories about the ages, old names, old places, now all dead and gone.  Yet we remain: Two Anishnabe, from the same year, many times in the same places, with the same people, yet never crossing paths until today.  Slick stuff.

We got to that story sharing place where I told him about that night at the International on Kathleen Street, N’Swakamok, summer of 1995:  I was in there with one of the killers, as back up.  He was in there looking for someone but he never told me why he was looking for this person.  We sat ourselves down at a table and ordered drinks and pretty soon this young Anishnabe dude came along and sat himself down at our table.  This dude knew the killer and they were chatting up a storm, going on about “stuff”.  Well I’d heard enough after about 20 seconds and said to the killer:  Is this the guy?

As I said that I was reaching inside my coat with my right hand and the dude FREAKED!  He put his hands up right away and said Hey Man!  I didn’t do anything!

Of course he was right.  I was just reaching into my coat pocket to get my cigarettes, to see if he wanted a Marlboro Red.  Back in those days you could smoke in the bar.  It was kooky to see though how that dude nearly shit his pants when I did that.  Ha ha.

It has been one of those winter days.  Cool too though when you cross paths with folks of the same vintage.

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Girl From the North Country, Found Poetry, Book 5, a work in progress.  Drawing by Mark Seabrook, Anishnabe artist.  Truth is I have NOT been drawing over the past few or several years and…  They were right.  It does go away if you don’t keep at it.

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Anishnabe Kwe, Found Poetry, book 5.  So yes, we’re still working at it.  The book is 400 plus pages and the story is INSANE!!!  So we’re mostly painting over the pages of text and making this one into a book of drawings.  There are a few poems in there but not as many as in the past books.  The drawing practice has been good for this old boy.

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Ed Hopper at the MET.  Remember how I was going on about that meltdown at the MET, back in December?  Well here we are a long way from, and here they are in no particular order, the paintings that brought on the meltdown…

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Have mercy.  You can read a ton of books about this one but when you’re standing where he once stood:  the same distance away I mean, there is a fine line between living out your dream and shitting your pants on the NY subway.

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Good Wowza.  If you are a visual artist, and you walk into a room and see this…  Well lets just say this:  I was in there looking at this and wondered if maybe it might have been better had I been KIA in the Great Hay Wagon Disaster of 78.  (If you don’t know what that is, scroll back through a few blog postings…  )

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Good Gawd!  Anyone out there reading this:  are you a painter?

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Jeepers H. Mary and M.F. Joe!  You read about it.  You see a small picture in an art history book text.  But then there it is.  Wowza x 2.

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Stop.  Stand.  And Stare.  Holy chocolate wagon wheels someone actually created this with their bare hands…  (Q. And what am I doing?  A.  A GREAT BIG FAT NOTHING.)

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OFMFGF.  We went over this in art school for days.  Detailing it, went over it, shoulder to shoulder on our hands and knees, going over every inch of the details with an extremely powerful art history instructor.

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Yup!  I was nearly a sobbing wreck by this point.  Just like that time I watched the first 5 minutes of the movie:  UP.

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Okay.  No words.  There it is.

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Have mercy!

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Absolute melting point:  if you’re an art enthusiast and dreaming…  If you see something like this, in the MET, after all these years…   (Well lets just say it will be the crows nest for me.)

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Here though:  something turned.  I may have rounded a corner with this one.

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Stopped and stared.  Imagined Mr. R. standing there too, cigarettes in hand…  ages ago.

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K.M. in his gear, making the presentation on Thursday night to a darn near a sold out show.  He had his book, getting his words straight, but what I was worried about is that he was going to fall off those great big high heels he was wearing!  He didn’t fall off his shoes and it was a great performance, and a great show:  glad to be there and see it first hand.  That painting of course, if you scroll back through the blog, you’ll  see it up close, from that night long ago…

And so the snow storm continues.

alone at Carter's Bay in a long ago summer time

alone at Carter’s Bay in a long ago summer time

I dream about the beaches back home: the wind and the waves, the sun, the earth, the sky.  The blue and green.  And yes:  The sienna, the gold and silver.

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Oh la la!  There will be time to get back to those water falls and that river where I call home.  I usually travel at night.  I’ll arrive at sunrise!

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When you live a bit, silly things like a snow storm are nothing.  Rooms in a house, the “Famous Cockroach Incident”, a thousand mile drive at a hundred miles an hour, the summer of 1995, the lawns between her house and mine at age 12, her red jacket…

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I’ve got a home waiting for me.  Yes I’m the road now but I’ll be home soon.  For now though, we have the art, the road, the snow storm, the flash Australian Vin, and the stuff not worth mentioning out the front window, the back window and the side windows:  life i the city in mid January.

Keep on keeping ON!

 

 

The Dream at the End of the World

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Opening pages of Found Poetry Book 4: The Dream at the End of the World.  I loved that title and to boot: printed way back in 1991, the paper is quality stuff that can handle the sharpie markers, highlighters and thinly spread dollar store acrylic paint.  I keep saying “thinly spread” as no matter how good the paper quality is in these old books, if you layer on gobs of acrylic, bad things are going to happen to your book project.  I’ve seen it happen with a few participants and yes it can get messy fast.  And that’s when the tears start…

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Remember: this is meant to be a long term art making project.  As you can see I started this one way back on September 4, 019.  Here we are at December 15th and I have 3 pages to go!  The opening “found poem”, is 2 pages of love…

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Found poems…  Love this stuff!  As I said to participants:  what literary surprises are waiting for us with every page?

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The End of Art School, found poem No. 3, is an 8 page beauty that goes like this:

in a dream, rising up through the tranquil sleep of a warm May evening, left in its wake a delicious sense of peace, of afternoon sunlight, the dream terrain, i felt the thrill of recognition, was offering, up to him again.  

his life was out of control, sidetracked by untidy passions, impulsive missteps, messy obsessions…

daring was in his art, and his ambition seemed limitless, he was an accomplished poet as well as a musician, still, he was beginning to feel like a hired hand, and he was weary of focusing his energy on works that were not his own.

disturbing, nihilistic, quietly bizarre…

its perpetual distraction.  as summer approached, the power of his stories, the dream had shown him the way.

flirtatious, seductive, she staged mad crushes, they had become favourites among the creative elite, they were famous among the famous.

his only refuge was his imagination, he invented his own planet, “I was always trying to get away.”

found his freedom, possessed of a diffident charm, and sensible in summer, thrillingly remote, was vital and clamorous, the ancient native, life burst through the seams, wonderfully excessive, costume balls, expeditions and martinis, cleanliness and efficiency.

steady, hot, with a moon that is like a sun when it is full, a madhouse: the piano in their isolated house was wildly out of tune…

trance dancing-all of it was part of the pageantry, Sahara, the sky had a life of its own, baptism of solitude, silent country, sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute: the absolute has no price.

mystical undercurrents ran deep, a man transforming, the supple nature of reality, on the other side of the looking glass, alienness intoxicating, insupportable jealousy, I shall be away. 

pursued the exotic, self indulgent, he kept up his creative momentum, he transported himself, an untamed twenty year old, the two began to spin fantasies.

a protagonist in his novel, restless souls who wanted to explore life outside, purpose and spirit, it was a mystery, She laughed: “You KNOW I don’t want you to go.”

a close friend of both, i dimly remember my own face and not yours, how psychosomatic can you get?

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Of course there is room for drawing: “Fancy Shawl Dancer, who IS Mother Earth”,  sharpie marker, thinly spread dollar store acrylic.

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And room too, for experimenting with the draw and the subject of the draw:  black ball point pen with sharpie marker on acrylic paint.  Maybe there is an opportunity to create a new series of pictures from the sketches in these pages.

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Some days are tougher than others…  Sharpie marker on acrylic paint.

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“True Love: age 22, (I knew her name)”, Found poem, a 12 page extravaganza!

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Once into it, these sketches can be pretty telling…  (life on the road…  )

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And of course there is room for fun stuff!  The end page of a wildly sexual poem, from the Road Taken!

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Ah yes: room to explore, room to create, and maybe a new series of paintings in the development stages…

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Heavy duty and ultra supra TELLING!  Wow.  This drawing is from the last of the pages in the book, 384 pages of found poems, drawings, journals, love stories, memory brambles lane, black circles under blood shot eyes, spinning out in a parking lot, from soup to nuts, insanity before xmas in the city.

Yes the found poetry book project is a work in progress and an exciting exercise for the creative soul.  On Monday I’ll be back in the goodwill on the snoop, looking for another interesting title with high quality paper.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Made fresh this past week and using a new brand of acrylic paint!  The last of my Stevenson Professional Acrylic, and I mean the last, we’re down to the bottom of the barrels, I’m pretty sure we only have a half dozen paintings remaining in those paint barrels.  Very sad for me as Stevenson was my brand since all the way back in art school.

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Power Birds, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Originally it was a black and white but with this new brand of paint in the house, it’s time to explore and see what she can do.

Just ten days before Xmas and…  yikes: another year will be in the books.

 

Painting experiment No. 3

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Sharpie Markers, 91% isopropyl alcohol and gravity, 8×10″, on canvas board.  Bird painted in acrylic.  Private collection.  We made this up last Thursday with a new art instructor in the house!  Very cool.  Not sure though how long something like this is going to last…  For now though it looks cool and for the beginner artist: a fun way to open the door.

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Introduction to the Woodland School of Art with drawing exercise:  your instructor:  Mark Seabrook, B.A., B.Ed., and woodland style enthusiast!  One of the fun things we get to do is make art presentations and my fave is the Intro to, which includes a 50 minute drawing exercise where everyone gets a turn at drawing the Moose!

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Chalk on board, 48×72 inches, twinravens style moose in the Woodland School of Art style, made famous by the great Norval Morrisseau way back in 1962!  We have a fun time with this class and it works wonders no matter where we go!

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Found Poetry, Book 4, Sharpie marker and black ball point pen on thinly spread dollar store acrylic, on 1991 issue paper.  The book title is:  The Dream at the End of the World.  Love the title, don’t care about the book!  The paper is quality and I’ve been fussing with this little art and writing project since just after Labour Day.  Book 4…  should be ready by Xmas.  The fun thing about this one is there is a brand new bundle of very interesting drawing scattered throughout, interesting in a way that might lead to a new series of paintings.

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Ball point pen, 90 pound paper, sketch book, from 1995.  That would be Treasure Island in Lake Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, in the back ground.  And up front of course is the traditional dancer without his bustle.  Hey we are working a colouring book for the advanced: we’re way beyond keeping it within the black lines on this one.  It IS in the works.  This is going to be one of the pages!

The art journey and artist life continues!

Spoken Poetry

Performed by writer and arranger:  Mark Seabrook.

Many thanks for that email and so here is a selection, as requested:  Poetry.  By yours truly.  What we have here though is “Found Poems”:  we take a hard cover novel from the goodwill, we pick a title that we are attracted to, never minding what the book is about, and we use the “black out” technique, covering the words that mean nothing to us, leaving behind what does mean something.

The book I selected from the shelves at the goodwill:  Every Living Thing.  That title meant something to me.  Copyright way back in 1992, by James Harriot.  We picked it not only for the title but for the quality of the paper within the book:  we’re turning those pages into artwork as well, and art work needs good paper.  So be selective when you’re creating one of these fun Found Poetry books.  Find a title that means something to you and find one made with quality paper.  342 pages takes time: I started book 1 on October 16, 2018 and finished it on November 25, 2018.  We’re working on book 4.  But here are some selections from book one:  Every Living Thing.  Spoken Poetry performed by anishnabe artist and writer:  Mark Seabrook.

Oops!  My bad!  This one is from:  Infinite Riches, published in 1998 by Phoenix House, author Ben Okii.  Saved from the rubbish heap by yours truly and turned into a one of a kind book of poems and art!  (These can become heavy duty journals along the way!  This is book 2, created December 20, 2018 to May 9, 2019.  So be careful!)

Classic love stories, from the road taken…

Classic love stories…

Classic love adventures…

More classic love adventures…

Some of these, you may have to sign into your youtube account.

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Artwork from the pages of:  Every Living Thing.  Sharpie marker on dollar store acrylic paint spread thinly.  Sometimes there is no poetry to be found!  In which case turn the page or pages into visual arts!

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Yes…  it can become very telling.  Artwork and poetry, in book 2:  Infinite Riches.

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Ball point pen on acrylic paint spread thinly.  Woodland School style artwork by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

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Kooky.  Sharpie marker on acrylic paint spread thinly.  (Not sure where I was on November 9, 2018, but judging by this: going down memory lane…  )

And so there it is!  Spoken Poetry, written and performed by yours truly.  Art work, drawings and so on, created by yours truly.  It is an art and writing adventure!  Let me know what you think!  Drop me a line anytime.

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One for the road:  don’t forget to add a little colour to those art pages!  Dollar store acrylic paint with sharpie markers.

 

SUN INFINITY MOON Book Review

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Mark Seabrook is multifaceted with a tremendously creative spirit and a flair for storytelling, using the musical, visual and literary arts to carry forward his unique “voice”.  

SUN INFINITY MOON is the latest literary offering from Mark and is a collection of anecdotal accounts – years in the making – as told through an Anishnabe character named Sun, whom, along with all the others who make an appearance in this book is reportedly fictitious, existing, as Mark states in the foreword “wholly within the author’s imagination”…  ”Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locals [sic] is entirely coincidental.”

For readers who may be familiar with Mark Seabrook’s life and works, the coincidental resemblances are pronounced and one finds it impossible to refrain from attempting to deduce what is real and what is imagined.  Perhaps that is precisely the way Mark intends it to be?

We begin with:  We found a pile of human bones on the floor of the tree house.  A pretty great opening line for book of stories!  There was no order to the way they were piled, it was all abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock style […] It was that fuckin’ skull, upright, jaw missing, top teeth gnarling on the coarse floor boards, frontal and parietal blaring like a pair of brand new stripper shoes mailed in from L.A., that caught my attention.  At some point in time that was someone’s think tank.  Someone’s whole of everything was up there, everything they could imagine and cherish, childhood memories, first love, the nightmares, were stowed and secure in that brain case, which was now bone dry, on a floor.  Empty.  The maggots had cleaned house and run off.”  Mark’s phrasing and descriptors all throughout the book are marvellously evocative whether they are conveying Anishnabe angst or reflecting on non-native practices.

And there is A LOT of Anishnabe angst.  And anger.  And revengeful ravings.  Amidst the playful dark humour and erotic tales there is an unmistakable undercurrent of humans behaving badly.  Such non-edifying things I have trained myself to avoid – but as Mark is a friend and I was proud he had followed through on his goal of publishing this book, I thought it was important to give it a read and gain some understanding.  

Mark had a compelling desire to convey a “sick and disgusting story” (his words, private correspondence) without an editor’s assistance, for fear that any editing would perhaps make the stories less “his” and risk becoming adulterated by the influence of non-native manipulation.  Such close protectionism causes the book to suffer, however, and I understand a second printing is in the works, with some essential grammatical improvements that should not conflict with the telling of these tales.

Nevertheless, for all it’s disjointed recapitulations and errors, SUN INFINITY MOON is actually rich with layers of meaning, above and beyond the unpleasant disrespect the characters (both native and non-native) show for each other, for non-human creatures and for the environment.  The deepest layer Mark Seabrook crafts for readers is that a great wrong has been done to Anishnabe youth with lingering, festering wounds that continue to hinder mental wellness and self-actualization.  That dark layer of meaning is the type of wrong that occurs in all cultures, worldwide, and to this reviewer signals a psychological malfunction present within the human species itself.  It is a darkness that when illuminated by awareness, inspiration and inner discipline can be channeled into human constructs that ennoble, enrich and transform, allowing each of us to better discover our inherent talent and live up to our full potential.

If the intention of this book was to amuse and entertain while unveiling a host of deleterious behaviours and events, intermingling sweet memories with frightful ones, it has achieved that end.  It may have been cathartic for Mark Seabrook to write such a series of tales…future works will reflect that or not.  Within Mark’s character “Moon”, we see it is possible to develop awareness…perhaps in a future literary exploration, Mark can expand upon that and use his creative storytelling techniques to help humans transcend the species-wide affliction of destructive behaviours.  That would be a book I would be glad to recommend!

L.  Manitoulin Island

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Page 15, from “May 11, 1996”, SUN.  Sun Infinity Moon, by Mark Seabrook.

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Back cover:  Sun Infinity Moon, by Anishnabe artist and author: Mark Seabrook.

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Missing In Action, painted face masks, acrylic on canvas, 30×30 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Private collection.

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Missing In Action, on display in Ottawa, 2014.

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Killed In Action, painted face mask and acrylic on canvas, 30×30 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Private collection.  (On display in Ottawa, 2014)

Life and Times of a Famous Native Canadian Artist, Vol. 3

ha ha!  joking of course.  we’re not booked to be at the MET any time soon nor do we have important pieces over at the NGC.  we are the classic:  legends in our own minds!  and so yes, with a chuckle:

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the “Black Framed Originals” we’ve been working on this autumn, preparing for a pop up flash art show in November.  that is an 18×24 inch canvas board, Mother Earth sketch,  and it is one of 20 we have ready go!  the painting just above it i have been looking at for about a year.

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the painting just above, Detail: Who Is She?, 30×48″, on canvas.  the original painting of the girl on the lake, winter, 1990, yeah it was a peaceful scene but i just had to HACK it!  5 years ago it came back from where it was on display and by that time i had opened up the “art bridge” and re read a few articles on Jackson Pollock!  so this canvas was just begging to be re worked.

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yes yes it is not the classically painted face but that wasn’t what we were going for then nor is it what we’re going for today!  fact of the matter is: hey i like this one.  like i said i’ve been looking at it for a year, hanging on my wall over here in Ottawa, and i’m starting to think maybe i’ll keep that one.

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Striking a Pose, in Whitedog, Ontario, sometime in the spring of 1991.  that was on the Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock National Tour, Debajehmujig Theatre Group, and we’re about half way into that tour.  i had friends who are now long dead and gone, dust and bones, from up there, who hadn’t been home in years, and when i told them i might be passing through their old starting point they told me to get some pictures.  this of course was not the photo they were expecting!  (story of my life, ha!)

i recently saw this old photo and others when muddling and “muggling” the idea about the next writing project:  Fighting In Hell, an anishnabe’s art journey.  the title for that writing project is still in the works and the stories within: an artist story, what to leave in, what to leave out?

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that is the great Gabor Mate and his lad, in Toronto on Friday night, October 18th.  they were in town to make a presentation on parents and their adult children and the business of healing.  very interesting!  but my question was and is this:  what if the adult child has had several sets of parents from bio parents to foster parents to adoptive parents of a different culture, all within the first 7 or 8 years of life?

175 participants signed up for that 3 day presentation and you can bet any time Gabe opened the floor for questions about 80 hands shot up, and usually the same 80 hands!  so i didn’t get to ask my question.  you see Gabe is a genius.  you have questions along these lines, he has answers.  google his name if you’re not in the know.

175 x 350 = 61 250.  nice work!

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half of the “artist uniform”, at the conference, front row.  you can bet the other half of the artist uniform had things to read/say and that place being 98% women participants, there certainly were a few readers!  Nature.  Cheaper than Therapy.

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back in Markham before the bug out: wiggling the toes!  the boss man is up on the 9th chilling and i’m in the lobby switching out of the artist wear black boots for some basics: the new car has a standard transmission and folks i like to have my barefeet on those three peddles.  this being mid October, black socks will have to do!

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blazing down the 401, east bound, Sunday night alone, in the brand new limo:  put the radio on and up came 10cc, I’m Not in Love.  it being the oldies FM station they weren’t cheap and played the 6 minute version.  sweet.  kooky too, riding through the mild autumn night, all those heavy duty thoughts from the conference stewing, all those heavy duty memories from what seems like another life time ago, stewing, the open road, the wiggly toes, and the here and now…

kind of peculiar how things work out…

as a refresh: here are the opening few lines of the original life and times of, Vol. 1, posted way back in the autumn of 2017.  ah but what a beautiful September it was in 2017:  6 weeks of Indian Summer on the open range, a paint brush in my hand during the day, a glass or a key pad at night.  30 C during the afternoon, 20 C at night, for 6 wonderful weeks, down in the cosy back country of Tehkummah: no light or noise pollution.  no neighbours.  nothing but a suitcase full of 20 dollar bills and the artist with an agenda.

Life And Times Of A Famous Native Canadian Artist…

ha! i say that jokingly! because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way. she’s new moon boys. and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open: there is room to stretch the “art making arms”. we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions. i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…

From the twinravens blog:  September 2017.

now i have no idea what i did to the comments section here,  see it is turned off.  but you can always email at twinravens at hotmail or twinravens at gmail.

miigwetch.

Paintings by Mark Seabrook

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available for purchase as of Oct. 3/019.

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Power Bird No. 5, acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

I have to admit I’m having fun with these pieces in frames!  Normally we sell them as unframed canvas boards but I decided to switch things up last summer, and so here we are in October with a sizeable collection, getting ready for that show in November!

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Power Bird No. 6, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches, from the original run in 2013, artist collection.

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Twinravens, Winter Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.IMG_8998

Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Big Bucks!  Acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Visiting from Over Seas, acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

We ship anywhere.

And so yes:  I’m having some fun here framing up these new pieces and going through the collections, framing up a few of the war horses, pieces I just couldn’t part with, playing with a new look.  And it IS fun.  We’ll be ready for that show in November!